Lab coat ceremony celebrates student mentors


Thanks to a partnership with Volunteer Kansas, Newman University held its second annual lab coat ceremony on Jan. 16 in the Bishop Gerber Science Center.

The grant not only allowed the university to celebrate with its students during this special ceremony but has also allowed Newman to continue a special mentoring program.

The mentorship program, which was initiated in the spring of 2018, consists of current junior and senior students mentoring younger or newer students in science and math courses outside of class.

The mentors will be driven by three main goals; reviewing material already covered in class, previewing material in upcoming lectures and labs and quizzing students on material they should already know.

Associate Professor of Biology Michael Bradley, Ph.D., said, “The idea came to us that we might be able to take advantage of the fact that the real expertise in getting through those courses resides in the students who are here and who have already gotten it done.”

Bradley, along with other faculty and staff, saw the evening as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate those students being honored for their achievements thus far in the program.

The 2019 lab coat recipients

“This is not an easy undertaking. It’s a pretty major thing to do and to succeed at doing,” Bradley proclaimed to the students in the room. “You students, in this room tonight, have accomplished more than I think you realize at this moment. And the reason that we say this is that I don’t think you understand that there are lots of folks who have not accomplished what you have.”

Zitlali Bravo, a biochemistry major, plans to attend med school after graduating from Newman in May. Her goal is to become an ophthalmologist. She said being chosen for the mentor program is a big deal for her.

“It gives me hope to move forward, and that anything’s possible.”

Biology major and baseball team member Mitchell Austin said finding a good balance between life and school has been something he’s achieved while at Newman. Austin said he feels more confident after going through his higher education journey at Newman.

He said receiving this recognition “gives us a lot of confidence to move forward and take on hard subjects.

“The instructors have been great here,” Austin added. “I think that was the best thing about deciding to come here … I knew that it was a very good academic program, a good opportunity, but also the small class sizes so the teachers can get to know you personally.”



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